Milind Nayak, was not just an artist. He was “the Artist”, It would be a grave injustice to call Milind just a technically brilliant artist. He was beyond all adjectives and his stature was something which was larger than life.
Milind was someone with immense passion and love for everyone. While many have been paying tributes on social media; the unanimous opinion was that, everyone had lost a good friend. Milind was a mentor and a ‘friend’ to many artists both young and old. Over the years as he fought an intense battle with diabeties, Milind ensured that the artist in him always lived on. Conversations with Milind always revolved around art and the journey he had as an artist.
As an art curator and as a friend, I had the privilege and honour to host and curate his last solo show last year at a private museum in Bengaluru.
Selecting his works for the show was quite a challenge because his older works had a different charm and his current contemporary oeuvre had a different flavour altogether. One thing that described Milind as an artist was his love for colour, which eventually reflected in his colourful personality.
In my last conversations with him, Milind shared many a story of his life which one couldn’t help but listen as every story he shared had an impact on his life. Milind often recollected his initial days in Bengaluru when he recollected and recounted his banking roots here and how he was the pioneer in getting the colour digital business to Bengaluru.
Some of the works he created during that time were displayed in the show I curated last year. After that Milind sold the company as his interests lied in art. He always used to tell a very important and relevant statement, “Live life for your passion and what you believe in and not for the money. Once you start running behind money, You will miss out of the true essence and happiness of life.” This makes for such a relevant statement in today’s day and age.
Born in 1954 in Udupi, Milind’s love for art started quite early in his teenage. He was a keen observer and being trained by the legendary GS Sheony, technical brilliance was inherited by him quite naturally. As he breathed his last recently, unaware of his ordeal, Nepali artists Ruchika KC and Sujata were busy discussing how Milind has played a positive role in their development of them as artists and how Ruchika used to go to hiss studio and see him paint and discuss art.
Little did they know that the legend was fighting his own battle, Speaking of his larger than life image recounts Nagraj Jhagirdar, an art lover “I remember meeting Milind at one of the recent shows and despite being on a wheelchair he had a lot of zest for life. For someone like me who didn’t know a thing about art, he made me fall in love with art.”
Such was the stature of Milind, an artist, a poet, a friend, a loving father and a caring husband, a friend to many, a mentor to hundreds, in Milind the city has lost its heartbeat.
The void left behind will never be fulfilled and the world today doesn’t make wonderful men like him anymore. Milind for sure is painting the heavens now and has left back many memories and his legend shall live on for generations.
— The writer is an art expert and curator....